Communities remember sacrifices of veterans during WWI

Dozens reflected and heroes were honored on the Guilford Green on Sunday.

Larry Santamaria grew up in the town and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968.

“At that time, they were drafting a lot of people, but all my friends were going in the service. Well, I didn’t want to be the last one to go in, so I joined,” he said.

Santamaria earned the Purple Heart. He said it’s vital that everyone tries to understand the horrors of war. 

“Sometimes, I think the only people who understand is us combat veterans. I mean, we’re the ones who have to fight those wars. We’re the ones who come back with the wounds that stay with us for all our lives,” he explained.

At 11:00 a.m., bells rang throughout the town marking exactly 100 years since the first World War ended.

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“A hundred years ago today, he was killed and the thing that gets me a bit…Somebody didn’t just blow a whistle that the war was over,” Rick Maynard of Guilford said.

Maynard’s grand uncle Paul died in battle exactly a century ago.

“In some of the battles, his company would go in with about two hundred guys, they came out with 35 and I don’t know how many went in that last battle but he was one who didn’t come back out,” he said.

For the Maynard family, for Santamaria, and for the veterans nationwide, everyone stood in the chilly fall day listening to speeches to remember and show gratitude.

“I just tell everyone when you see a veteran, thank them for their service. That means a lot to them,” Santamaria stated.

Santamaria has helped his fellow veterans as a volunteer with the VFW for almost 40 years.

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